THE Castletroy Park Hotel has been sold for a figure slightly in excess of €3 million.
The four-star, 107-room hotel – currently being operated by the Carlton group – has been bought by a group of solicitors in the Munster area, operating on behalf of an as yet unknown purchaser.
Despite intense recent speculation, Chuck Feeney and his charitable organisation Atlantic Philanthropies have not bought the hotel, which the billionaire philanthropist sold for €25m in 2004.
Those involved in the sale were remaining tight-lipped this week regarding the deal, but the Limerick Leader has ascertained that the hotel - which is owned by CPH Investments Limited, a subsidiary of parent company Fordmount Property Group Limited, which has been in receivership for some time - sold for a figure “slightly in excess of €3 million”, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.
Bank of Scotland Ireland held a charge over the hotel and sanctioned its sale.
A deal involving Mr Feeney and the potential buyback of the hotel collapsed earlier this year after an agreement had been reached with another party. Despite circling the hotel in recent weeks, Mr Feeney’s organisation did not follow through on its interest and complications arose regarding a contract that had been signed with the other party.
It is believed that Atlantic Philanthropies were planning the purchase on behalf of the University of Limerick.
A number of parties were interested in purchasing the hotel, given its attractive price and successful operation since Carlton’s takeover. One auctioneering source claimed recently that the deal would be potentially “the largest commercial deal done in Limerick in some years”.
Management in the hotel declined to comment this Wednesday, and calls were not returned from the Carlton Hotel group. It is believed that another operator may yet be installed to run the hotel by the new owners.
A member of staff in the Castletroy Park confirmed that news of the hotel’s sale had reached them, but that “no instruction had been given” to staff.
“The hotel has been sold but obviously we are waiting for confirmation and we have not been spoken to yet,” said the staff member, who did not wish to be named.
The hotel was opened by President Mary Robinson in 1991.
The Carlton Hotel Group took control of the hotel in 2009 after a previous company in charge of the hotel - Castletroy Park Management Ltd - went into liquidation with debts of €2.1m.
Prior to Carlton’s take over, the hotel closed its doors early in 2009 after 18 years in business, citing “insurmountable trading difficulties”.
According to documents filed with the Companies Registration Office last September, Bank of Scotland Ireland held as security a “first specific charge over the freehold land and premises of the company consisting of a 107- bedroom hotel on a circa 1 acre site with conference, restaurant, bar, leisure and car parking facilities, known as the Castletroy Park Hotel”.